Top 5 Individual performances in Russia 2018
There it is. The tournament that started with 32 teams, narrowed down to one team ending as CHAMPION. After 64 matches filled with 169 delightful goals, amazing performances, France ended up victorious for the second time. The tournament brought joy for some, sorrow for others but it definitely was entertainment for the fans. The World Cup didn’t disappointed at all. The hype around the World Cup was justified and it certainly lived up to the billing. There were terrific team performances, especially by the Underdogs but the outcome of some fixtures were decided by individual brilliance.
The build up to the World Cup was around the familiar ones. Cristiano Ronaldo , Lionel Messi, Neymar, to name a few. Some established ones maintained their status while the reputations of a few were hit badly, due to their below par performances at the World Cup. But the underrated ones made the fans all over the world look up to their extraordinary display and acknowledge their greatness while some players announced themselves on the biggest stage. Though football is a team sport, there are times when individuals can single-handedly guide the team to the next rounds on the back of their own caliber.
We take a look at the top 5 individual performances that lit up the event in Russia.
1. Mbappe vs Argentina (Round of 16)
Argentina came into the Round of 16 tie against France on the back of a satisfying display against Nigeria which marked the return of form of Lionel Messi. But the PSG forward had other ideas against the Albiceleste. Just 10 minutes into the game, Mbappe earned a penalty thanks to his blistering pace. The penalty was converted by Antoine Griezmann to give the French the lead.
Argentina came back in the second half to take a surprise 2-1 lead. That's when the 19-year old scored 2 stunning goals against the hapless South Americans. He became the first teenager since Pele in 1958 to score in a knockout game. This performance helped Mbappe and France gain momentum for the rest of the tournament. The confidence the young Mbappe gathered from his exquisite showing against the Messi-led side contributed significantly to France's triumph. In the process, he again emulated Pele as he became the second teenager to start and eventually get his name on the score sheet in the World Cup Final. Kylian Mbappe was even awarded the 'Best Young Player' award this World Cup.